Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day 244. Lake Tineroo

Girls Day Out

Yummy Strawberries
Today I have decided to take Scarlett out for the day, so Shane can have some peace and quite while watching the V8's race at Bathurst. I think it would be good for us to spend some time together, and she has been so good lately, she deserves a good day out just about her.

First stop on our agenda was the 'Shaylee Strawberry Farm' where Scarlett was able to pick a huge container of her very own strawberries. She was having so much fun walking the isles looking for the biggest strawberries she could find. We came away with about $8 worth of the biggest, and sweetest, strawberries ever. The best part is, she is eating fruit again - something we regularly struggle with.

3.5mtr Amethyst Geode

Second stop was the 'Atherton Crystal Caves' which is home to the worlds largest Amethyst Geode, weighing in at 2.7 tons, and over 3.5mtrs tall. After being issued with our miners helmets, we started our self guided tour of the many unique rooms holding some of the most impressive gem and mineral displays I have ever seen. This collections prize piece is the Amethyst Geode; which is impressive to say the least, but what was best about this collection was the fact you are encouraged to touch all the pieces. We had a great time exploring all the different caves, and finding all the exquisite pieces hidden up in the caves nooks and cranny's. My favourite piece was the 'Fountain Of Love', made from rose quartz.

Four tonnes of Rose Quartz make up the 'Fountain of Love'

Watching the cheese making
Third stop on today's girls day out was 'Gallo Dairyland Cheese and Chocolate'. Here we were able to see them making cheese, and experience a real working dairy. I had a great time tasting all the cheeses and chocolates, while Scarlett enjoyed an ice-cream cone. I came away with some goodies to share when we get into Cairns in a couple of days time. On the way out we went into the petting zoo, where Scarlett was scared to death of this huge turkey. She patted the calves, sheep, goat and chickens from safely behind my legs, and then she was out of there!

Fourth stop was designed to cool us off, as the day was really starting to heat up. It was time for a swim at Lake Eacham, an extinct volcanic crater lake over 60mtrs deep filled with crystal clear blue water. There was a pontoon to jump off, but I jumped in and swam for about a minute before jumping back out as the water was freezing cold. Good old 'no sense, no feeling' Scarlett swam around for ages playing with the kids, while I sat and enjoyed the view of the lush green rainforest that fringed the lake.

Lake Eacham

This cow is empty
Fifth stop was the 'Malanda Dairy Centre' where we checked out their milking museum. The building is really nice, they even had an old railway carriage in the courtyard you could sit in for a bite to eat. Scarlett tried to milk their cow with no success, while I consulted my map to see where our next stop was.

Sixth stop was the 'Tree Kangaroo Cafe' for a bite to eat. I had the best grilled fresh barramundi burger, while Scarlett her usual boring hot chips. We sat for ages out in the garden on a comfy lounge, while I caught my breath, and Scarlett did some colouring in while waiting for her lunch. It has been amazing watching the transformation from dry desert bush landscapes this week to this lush tropical rainforest, I am in total awe of it all!

Lunch finally

Seventh stop for the day was next door at the 'Malanda Waterfall', where Scarlett again jumped into her swimmers and dived into the cold water for another swim. She is such a water baby, and a great swimmer now. The falls weren't that exciting, but she had a good time playing with more kids while I sat in the shade catching up on facebook on my phone.

Malanda Waterfall

Stop eight was back to the 'Gallo Dairyland' to see the cows come in for their afternoon milking session. It is so amazing that they know when to come up from the paddocks, and they do so without any prompting. The even walk straight into the milking machine in an orderly fashion, and wait patiently for the dairymen to hook them up for milking. I must say this was really enlightening, and Scarlett was amazed as the milk flowed out and into the lines. Cows are really way more smarter than I ever gave them credit for, that's for sure.

Curtain Fig Tree
The ninth stop was Yungaburra's famous 'Curtain Fig Tree', one of the best known attractions on the Tablelands. The tree stands 50 mtrs tall and spreads to 39 mtrs wide at the base, and is over 800 years old. The curtain effect is caused from the weight of the fig tree being so heavy, it's host tree fell over landing on a 45-degree angle. The strangler vine has then grown along the slanting angle of the leaning tree, and dangles 15 metres down to the ground. This has now formed the curtain effect which has made the tree so fascinating and unusual.

Tenth and final stop was the 'Tolga Bat Hospital', which deals in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of hundreds of bats each year. It is such a professionally run institution nestled deep in lush tropical rainforest's on a property on the outskirts of Atherton. We saw heaps of fruit bats in rehab, and some little micro bats too. Our favourites were the tube nosed bats, as they were actually quite cute. The work the volunteers do here is amazing, and it was so interesting learning about these creatures we have been seeing from the light of our campfires darting through the night sky's over the past year.

Well by this time it was after 4pm, and we left Shane back at the van at 9 this morning and I was starting to get tired to say the least. We called into MacDonald's drive-thru for a slushie, and headed back to Lake Tineroo to see how his relaxing day of watching the V8's was going. He was really happy to see us, until he saw the back tail light I cracked while pulling out of a car park earlier. Oh well, it was a great day anyway...

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